The Fishermen Podcast #2

Carroll, Aaron E. “When Children Lose Siblings, They Face an Increased Risk of Death.” The

New York Times. 31 July, 2017. Web. 7 Jan, 2019. <


This source, an article published to the New York Times, discusses the repercussions of a child losing their sibling to death. After talking about the increased death rate, it goes on to talk about the child’s ability to understand the event and the family’s reaction. The information will be useful for us, and other readers, to comprehend the reactions the different family members will have in, The Fisherman. The narrator, Ben, is a member of the family and is personally affected by this event, this will be apparent in his presentation of his thoughts and the events. The New Historicist lens directly questions the interpretation and presentation of the literature, making a deeper understanding of Ben’s perspective vital to analyse and discuss the book.

Igbokwe, Joe. “June 12 1993: A Historical Necessity For Nigeria.” Sahara Reporters, Sahara

Reporters, Inc., 10 June 2013,

This source serves as an informal opinion piece from a controversial current day Nigerian politician of the All Progressive Congress party. He attempts to embody the Nigerian sentiment on the June 12th 1993 election by bashing its annulment. He digs into the previous military dictatorship with strongly worded remarks, “Bashiru Tofa… has no sense of history, he remembers nothing and hears nothing, but the world knows about June 12 1993 presidential elections... the crisis, the pains, the agonies, the tears, the killings, the deaths, the chains of events that followed the annulments of that election, and the price Nigeria has paid for this mistake for 20 years”. This connects directly to the trauma that the boys suffered in the text during the election uprising and under the dictatorship of the military leader Bashiru Tofa. This also contextualizes Nigeria in the present day where Chigozie Obioma is writing, which is still in turmoil due to these events. Additionally, the source is semi-unreliable and largely opinionated, representing the perpetuation of the political disparity on this issue and emphasizing its impact.

Willens, Michele. “Sibling Rivalry: The Grown-Up Version.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 June 2016,

This article covers siblings rivalries and discusses about how they stem from a place of unresolved issues and a lack of discussion between siblings. It discusses what these issues look like within the household. I found that this related to The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma because the two brothers, Boja and Ikenna, are in a very heated rivalry with each other. Looking through the New Historicist lens, the reader can see that sibling rivalries are found in many cultures and can often stem from favoritism coming from the parents.  

Comments (12)

Eli Zimmerman (Student 2019)
Eli Zimmerman

You guys used the new historicist to break down the roles of each character and how their responsibilities stacked up against yours. From there you game to the conclusion that their life was much harder than yours. I really like your banter and flow of the conversation. People don't need to go on rants for you guys to have content.

Ariana Flores (Student 2019)
Ariana Flores
  1. They did a good job of using the New Historical Lens to observe the interactions and changes within a family because of the riot. They then built off of that by bringing up the idea of having to grow up faster and take on new responsibilities because of the environment. The connections between the text and their personal experiences stayed on task and had a relatable feel.

  2. It was pretty cool how the voices were edited to sound almost as if they were on the other side of a telephone conversation. The flow was great and the jokes seemed natural, which created a very friendly environment.

Sarah Berg (Student 2019)
Sarah Berg

How do they use the literary lens? - Violence and death was common during the setting of the book - Mental health support was not given to the mother who was suffering from the death of her children, it was not a priority during the time

What did you like about the production of the podcast? - it was interesting how they compared their own lives and experiences to what the characters were experiencing and how they would react if they were in that situation

Amaris Ortiz (Student 2019)
Amaris Ortiz
  1. It was hard to understand what lens you chose. It would have been good to spend more time explaining it.
  2. I like how you asked each other questions to keep the conversation going.
Deja Winfield (Student 2019)
Deja Winfield

It was kind of hard having to guess what lens you guys are doing. a brief description and acknowledgment of your lens would have been helpful. I know from your literary write-up that it was new historicism. but your examples were spot on The conversation flowed. you guys constantly built off one another which was great

Carolina Ortiz-Lugo (Student 2019)
Carolina Ortiz-Lugo
  1. I noticed that the lens that is used seems to be the New Historicist Lens and I think that not having to mention the lens makes them have to explain things a bit more and I think that worked out for them. The characters in the story are mostly siblings and this allowed them to make connections to themselves and the lifestyle they have.
  2. I really liked the quality of conversation that everyone had and how everyone built off of each others ideas.
Catherine Long (Student 2019)
Catherine Long
  1. It was kind of hard to understand which lens you were using. I think it was new historicist due to the fact that you talked about the riots, the time period of the book and the overall setting which it took place.
  2. The conversation flowed very nicely. Also relating the responsibility of the characters to your lives was a nice touch.
Jason Chen (Student 2019)
Jason Chen

Awesome intro, it really made it entertaining. The podcast was using the New Historicist lens to talk about the environment they were in. You guys did a good job making connections and building off of each other and making self-connections. There was a good flow to the podcast and it was funny.

How do they use the literary lens? What did you like about the production of the podcast

Colin Taylor-McGrane (Student 2019)
Colin Taylor-McGrane

I feel that you did a great job of providing context into what happened in the novel up until this point, and you also made many great stylistic decisions, particularly the one in which you created a pretend audience interaction. However, I feel that you did not address which literary lens you were using, nor did your commentary seem targeted towards any particular lens.

Rebecca Snyder (Student 2019)
Rebecca Snyder

They introduced the new historicist lens as a connection to the sibling relationship in the novel and how the riots played a part in their changing relationship, especially with recent deaths. I liked their comfortable and funny flow of conversation. I also think they didn't a great job reflecting on their situations and how it differs from the situations the characters experience in the novel.

Salsabeel Elbakhadaoui (Student 2019)
Salsabeel Elbakhadaoui

I think you all did a great way relating this to the marxist lens from the events in the book and how the fish have classes and what that shows. I enjoyed how you weren't just telling us about the book but you also made it as if yoo were just speaking to us which kept me tuned in and not bored.

Matthew Milligan (Student 2019)
Matthew Milligan
  1. It seemed like your podcast was using the New Historicist lens to talk about the political climate that the book was written in. You guys bring up that this book takes place in a underdeveloped country and you compare that to your own experiences. In addition you guys mention how things like mental health were viewed in the context of that time in relation to the treatment of their mother.
  2. I think your group did a good job of building off of each other's ideas. Also you guys were relating your own experiences to the text, which made the podcast more interesting.